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Bolshoi Ballet: The Flames of Paris, London 2013


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Well wont repeat myself as have mentioned on the Jewels thread about going to the Sat mat to see this and what wearing etc!!

 

Look forward to hearing reviews of tonight's performance but have to leave here at 10 am tomorrow to get to station!!

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Well wont repeat myself as have mentioned on the Jewels thread about going to the Sat mat to see this and what wearing etc!!

 

Look forward to hearing reviews of tonight's performance but have to leave here at 10 am tomorrow to get to station!

 

 

Plenty of time for a lie-in then Lin!  I'm setting off at 06:00!!!!!

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Flames was incredible. The whole cast was excellent, the ballet itself was a great romp and Vassiliev's jumps were like nothing I had seen before, and that includes Vassiliev in other performances. It'll take me a while to be coherent about this, at the moment my brain just goes 'OMG, did that really happen? How on earth did he do that?'

 

The performance just flew past, and whilst Osipova and Vassiliev were a bit of a standout, it wasn't by that much - this might have been my Bolshoi dream cast of the current crop.

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Tonight the Bolshoi came alive in a way that we had historically come to expect.  

TONIGHT - for the first time on this trip in my experience - the company that was built for stars found itself lighting up in revolutionary fervor simply because it was zealously led by two FULLY FORMED members of that deservedly rare fraternity:  IVAN VASILIEV AND NATALIA OSIPOVA.  

 

The audience's response was the true litmus paper to this enveloping effect.  The eyes of each member (cast and audience alike) told a fulfilled  tale; one crucially wrought within the framework of a production that had been specifically framed around the extraordinary virtues of our two luminaries.  THEY MADE THE DIFFERENCE IN A MANNER MONEY CANNOT BUY.  Of course there were her glorious feet and his earth rattling stealth but it was their combined wit; yes wit; their 110% wattage joy that stood out.

 

It was SO wonderful to hear the audience laugh as Ivan hesitated momentarily before striding with his full-thighed zeal towards his mind blowing 2nd act first variation.  There was another to come.  (We instinctively knew of course what was coming even if we hadn't seen it before.)  Indeed before he delivered that same outrageous display he slyly gave a telling glance over his shoulder.  It was as a generous cue not only to the conductor but to the audience that they should get ready to grin and, yes, squeal.  (And, hey, I tell friends I don't like fun fares.  But what a ride this was.)  Our collective heartbeat for the next few minutes was as palpable as the all encompassing sweat on his white shirt was real.  Our eyes - like those of the 'Osilievs' at the end of the ballet - loomed enormous in their shared wonder.  We journeyed as one.    

 

Of course the rest of the company responded in kind.  (How could they not?)  It was truly glorious to be able to witness each of their thrill at being able to interact individually with Vasiliev as he passed amongst them while yet even more members of the corps dazzled in yet another French national dance.  What I truly love about Ratmansky - and there is oh, so much to admire (at least in my book --- and I know - I KNOW - many on this board disagree) are three things;  (i).his ability to choreograph - both in narrative and abstract works - with a sense of entire community; one democratically distributed through an entire company of dancers (i) his ability to show wit through character in the balletic format itself and - and please forgive me here but this is important FOR ME after the assault of such works as, say, THE JUDAS TREE which you know would never happen under Ratmansky's sway  (iii) his fundamental respect for human dignity, most especially when it comes to that of women.  

 

O.K; O.K., I know FLAMES OF PARIS, supposedly Stalin's favourite ballet, is a piece of contrived hokum.   While I'm sure it was VERY different in its original Vainonen version what ISN'T hokey here is that dignified respect.  When the Marquis Costa de Beauregard (and I didn't catch who was dancing this role as it was a replacement) first ASSAULTS Jeanne (Osipva) and then the actress, Mireille de Poitiers it is indicated THROUGH DANCE not pornography.  Is that harsh?  I really don't know any more.  Honestly I don't.  What I do know (at least for me) it is true.  What do I mean?:  Well, there is no flagrant throwing about of bodies or grabbing after private parts especially those of the female variety.  Here too the women can give as good as they get.  Adeline is seen to slap the face of her brother Jerome (an animated Andrei Merkuriev)  The crimes wrought here are fundamentally against entire swathes of society as a whole not those of a sexual microcosm.  Did the audience get the picture you ask?  Of course they did.  Certainly for me it was clear enough.  That it was suggestive and not patronising came as a relief.  But then - and please forgive me for this - but I am one of those odd people who simply finds it difficult to sit through, say, THE JUDAS TREE.  I'm sure that separates me from oh so, so many of you and for that I am sincerely sorry.  Honestly I am.  

 

There has been much quoted on this board by the understandably admired Mr. Crisp.  Let us not forget what he said of the recent London performance of Ratmansky's Romeo and Juliet.  (To follow the guidelines of the Balletcoforum I will quote but one sentence.)   "And there is Alexy Ratmansky's choreography, sometimes determinedly jokey and needing sedation, and failing signally to explain the world of young love and feuding families that is its concern."  My response to that was: 'Well, at least Romeo's banishment was made dramatically clear.  Without it (as in the case of the MacMillan - and please know I am a HUGE fan of EARLY MacMillan) the last act of any depiction of this tale - balletic and otherwise - can NEVER render the necessary dramatic urgency as defined by Shakespeare.'  (Will the same Mr. Crisp praise Ratmansky's choreographic skill in this presentation for the Bolshoi I wonder???? I am not a betting man by habit but if I were to be push ... ('Oh, go on' I hear you simper) ... I'd say: 'I bet he will'.  It certainly will be interesting to see if he changes horses mid-furlong or courageously stays his course.  What price journalistic consistency, huh?)  

FLAMES OF PARIS has a narrative of even greater breadth than Mayerling (and we all know that takes some doing).  Still it is here rendered clear.  Well, clear enough to follow.  It doesn't (for example) need a back story compendium to read the synopsis.  The all important class differentiations are made vividly clear VIA the styles/language of the dance itself.  That is as it should be - or at least as I think it should - and refreshingly it here too respects the history of the balletic / dance art forms in and of themselves.  (Anyone for a minuet?)  

 

I won't go on.  I need to get some sleep.  I had a grand time.  I LOVED the chap who played Louis XVI.  He made me giggle in a very legitimate way.  He was a but a functionary who would really prefer not to have to function at all.  Maybe he liked to fish?  (Was it really etched by Ruslan Skvortsov, this production's original Antoine?  That's what the cast list instructed.)  In any case he was a delight in his TOTAL detail as was Elena Bukanova (a period Madonna) as Marie Antoinette.  Was there EVER a MORE material girl?  One thing WAS certain:  Artem Ovcharenko - he of the supremely plush plie - was OUTSTANDING in his partnering as the Anotine Mistral of THIS EVENING.  Bravo.  Vitaly Biktimirov glistened in his character work as much as through his gunning dance as Gilbert, Captain of the Marseillais.  What a talent he is.  The trio of Igor Tsvirko, Alexei Matrkhov and Maxim Surov thrilled in their Marseillaise Dance and Anastasia Stashkevich was entirely heart wrenching as Adeline.    

 

But then, of course, there was our prism though which all else was framed and via which all was drawn together excellently as Coated suggests:  there was Ivan, and there was Natalia.  Just look:  They kissed in the first few seconds .... joyfully got married in the second act .... and came out for four --- yes, four ---  front curtain calls lasting a full 20 minutes.  Indeed, one felt they could have gone on and still not pushed it.  They had our hearts after all.  Those, unlike the seats, could not have been bought.  They were well and truly earned.   

 

Yes:  The Bolshoi we knew ... and STILL love ... was back.  Bless you, Mr. Filin, for letting us see this.  We know it so easily could NOT have happened ... BUT it did.  Bless you for your courage.  

 

We all, I think, felt welcomed by it. 

 

Sometimes a simple 'thank you' seems totally inadequate.  Please know here that it is entirely heartfelt.  

Edited by Meunier
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The Marquis Costa de Beauregard was danced by Ruslan Skvortsov, who replaced the injured Dmitri Gudanov.   I didn't hear or see any announcement of Skvortsov's replacement in his listed role of King Louis XVI, and as both characters appear on stage at the same time, there must have been one.

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I am now even more annoyed that I returned my ticket for last night's performance as I did not think I would be able to attend. I knew it was going to be amazing :( Ah well I'll just have to wait until Osipova and Vasiliev dance Flames with another company!

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Just a quick posting before I set off again, who needs sleep? can't wait to see different casts, Flames was everything I expected and more, I'm sure that O and V were even better than on the DVD! The characters were so brilliantly acted too, Louis 16th was outstanding, look forward to knowing who he was, could it have been Tsvirko?, and Artem Ovcharenko in the Actor role also shone, his bored expression whilst dancing for the court was priceless. Fabulous dancing all round.

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CORRECTION TO MYSELF ... I would be most grateful if the sentence 'Adeline is seen to slap the face of her brother Jerome (an animated Andrei Merkuriev)'  might be cut.  That is wrong.  (I would do it myself were it not for the board's time limit in corrections - which for a more than middling dyslexic like myself (thus the infamous missing words which I don't see even when I read it back(wards) which I am wont to do and the equally backwards [like my brain] spellings), -- one who even at this advanced stage misguidedly believes still that he can be a perfectionist --- HA!-- can be somewhat anxiety producing.)  [My mother - the judge - used to proclaim that I was 'born to be edited'.]  It is in fact the Marquis who strikes his daughter's cheek and therefore totally defeats the point I was there trying to support.  Merkuriev was, however, no less skilled in his animation as Jerome who, as it happens, is brother to one Jeanne who in Osipova's hands touchingly and literally mourns for her brother's loss when the aristocratic Adeline is first betrayed by her father's minion and rapidly thereafter guillotined.  I loved the fact that Ratmansky has Jeanne simply stand in ABSOLUTE bewilderment for a few seconds before she knells in front of Jerome's grieving corpse.  Osipova's awkwardness in those moments was as legitimately telling (indeed brave) as it might otherwise have been mawkish.  He has Vasiliev as Philippe mirror her humanely as he too stands helpless to one side not knowing how to assist his new wife in the unnatural extension of this their entirely new world order.  The innocently simple childlike release of his hands - which until that point have resembled nothing less than revolutionary canon fodder - was heartbreaking in the abject sincerity of its telling and equally childlike simplicity.  

Edited by Meunier
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Thanks for above posts people...am just off up to London to see this afternoons performance......and I know it won't be the delectable duo of Osipova and Vasiliev but I'm sure will be good..and the Company fired up by yesterday's seemingly wonderful performances hopefully! Also have never seen the ballet before so really looking forward to it now. I will be with two friends who are not regular ballet goers another reason why I chose this ballet for Bolshoi treat this time round and it looks like have made the right choice for them too!!

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I went along to Flames last night having purposely avoided watching it on YouTube so that it would reveal itself as something completely new to me.  I Googled the plot yesterday afternoon, but it seemed so complicated that I forgot it as soon as I'd left my desk.  One thing that told me:  the complicated plot meant it was going to be a frothy piece, not something deep a la MacMillan!  So I turned up, having decided not to mind at all about the plot or anything deeper, but just to watch the Bolshoi doing what they do best....pure dancing.  How gloriously they proved me right last night.  The combination of technical bravura and soft, lyrical dancing reflected all the good points about this company, many of which have been forgotten this past year because of goings-on behind the scenes.  Seen like this, one would never know that there were any problems at all.  As a ballet, just as a piece, I must say I wouldn't rush to see it again, but.....danced like this, it was well worth a view!

 

Flames is a ballet of two halves, the first half being much less successful than the second.  Act 1 is scene setting, and there is no obvious narrative flow, nor any real character development.  On the positive side, I liked the clean and simple set, and it was such a delight to have lighting where we could actually see everything, everywhere onstage, from beginning to end.  Act 2, although again held together loosely by a narrative, flowed much better and boy was it exciting!  Osipova and Vasiliev performing gravity-defying solos, with him doing huge jumps, twisty tours en l'air, split jetes and even ending up almost horizontal in the air twice.  The audience switched between laughing at the sheer daring and dazzle of it all to gasping audibly, then bringing the house down with applause and cheering.  Osipova's turns and leaps were amongst the quickest and highest I've seen from a ballerina, and she too brought the house down more than once.  But let's not forget her Giselle....aside from being able to pull all these technical feats out of the hat, she moved me to tears, twice, as Giselle; she is not a several-trick pony.  I really look forward to her being given the MacMillan roles at the Royal in the coming seasons to see what she makes of them.  She so badly wants to perform them, and I have high hopes for this very expressive dancer.  Some people have said that, like Don Q, with these two it is more circus than ballet.  This may be so, but everything in its context, and with Don Q and Flames, they are just fun pieces made so that dancers like Vasiliev and Osipova can let rip and have fun if they want to.  It's as if the AD or choreographer says "ok guys, you have ten minutes of music just for you....do with it what you will".

 

Another positive about Flames is the fact that the choreography allows for three leading couples to shine, so we are spoiled with a company like the Bolshoi....to see two of their leading couples (Osipova and Vasiliev now being guests) was a real treat, and all four dancers were very impressive.  Andrei Merkuriev and Anastasia Stashkevich (of whom we will be seeing much more, I'm sure) were just the right balance to the bravura of Vasiliev and Osipova.  Beautiful, lyrical dancing from them both, a deeply-felt pas de deux being the highlight of their evening for me.  Kristina Kretova as Mireille and Artem Ovcharentko as Mistral made a real impact on me, again performing a very impressive pdd, each shining in their solos.  I was also bowled over by the Furies, whose precision,synchronisation and speed alone struck fear into me!!  They embodied everything good about Bolshoi ensemble dancing, as did the three men who performed the Marseillaise Dance. I would also like to 'shout out' for whoever played Louis XVI....it wasn't announced anywhere and he was very good and loads of fun, so if anyone can enlighten me I'd be very grateful.

 

My binoculars kept drawing my eyes to the most adorable little toddler in the crowd scenes.  She was costumed as a baby peasant, complete with hat and a flag to wave, and wave it she did, with a huge smile on her face.  She danced on her tippy-toes in bare feet, and was having a wonderful time.  She is definitely the youngest dancer I've ever seen in a professional production, no more than three years of age;  maybe we were getting our earliest glimpse ever of a next-generation ballerina!  She was just gorgeous, and seeing her made me smile, a lot.  The whole evening made me smile a lot....it is a great show with which to end the company's run;  it reminds us of everything that the Bolshoi really is, beneath the current problems.  It sends the audience home feeling happy, and reminds us that, doing what they do best, when they are at their best, there is still no-one to equal the Bolshoi when it comes to company-wide pure dancing.  Both audience and dancers were feeding off each other last night, because the sense of fun going in both directions was palpable.  I do hope that by the time of their next visit to London, their problems have been solved and things have settled down so that they can be back at their glorious best from the very beginning.  I wish them all well in this endeavour, and most of all I wish Sergei Filin well;  he has some truly wonderful dancers to work with, and they will all do him proud, as he has done them proud with his courage and fighting spirit.

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Amazing amazing amazing! Osipova and Vasiliev were stunning and you’ll believe Russians really can fly. Merkuriev (Jerome) and Stashkevich (Adeline) provided a beautiful gentle contrast to O and V, I just wished they could have stayed on stage at the end of their pas de deux for more applause. Likewise, as said above, the Furies were superbly fast and synchronised (not entirely convinced by their costumes though!). I really do love the ballet within a ballet as it gives a lovely justification for a completely different style of dancing and Artem Ovcharenko had some fun at the curtain calls with Vasiliev, laughs right to the end.

 

During a pause in the O and V pas de deux my heart was pounding so much that I thought if I have a heart attack here and now then I'll die happy – the ballet was really that good!

 

And thanks to the young lad who sat next to me in Alice’s Adventures back in March and told me this was the ballet to see. He was right. And more thanks to whoever returned the pair of rather good tickets that I bought when it seemed to be all sold out! 

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What more is it to say, just show you pictures from Act I rehearsal.

 

Bolshoi%2B-%2BFlames%2Bof%2BParis%2B13_j

Andrei Merkuriev - Jerome, Natalia Osipova - Jeanne and Ivan Vasiliev - Philippe 

 

Bolshoi+-+Flames+of+Paris+13_jr_109_kret
Anna Tikhomirova - Mireille de Poitiers and Denis Rodkin - Antoine Mistral
 
Bolshoi+-+Flames+of+Paris+13_jr_146_skvo

Ruslan Skvortsov - King Louis XVI, Elena Bukanova - Queen Marie Antoinette and Artists of the Bolshoi Ballet 

 
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and here's a few more pictures to look at. A wonderful show - just a shame we couldn't photo the big pdd in the second act, as that's enormously spectacular - I reckon it was easily the best production in this visit from the Bolshoi!  :-)

 

9528856679_161e88612a_z.jpg
Flames of Paris: Andrei Merkuriev, Natalia Osipova, Vitaly Biktimirov, Ivan Vasiliev
© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr


9531629396_ecdff009fc_z.jpg
Flames of Paris: Anna Tikhomirova, Denis Rodkin
© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr


See more...

Set from DanceTabs - Bolshoi Ballet: Flames of Paris
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

 

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Ekaterina Krysanova was Jeanne tonight (with Ivan Vasiliev as Philippe) - very good she was too, nicely feisty.

 

Vasiliev was just awesome though - I don't usually pay that much attention to the chaps (I'm with Balanchine - ballet IS woman) with a few notable exceptions - and he is one of them. The way he jokily swaggered around the stage when the opportunity arose, and during the curtain calls, the young man is a legend already! :-)

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Well I do have mixed feelings about this ballet!!

Maybe it needs an Osipova and Vasiliev to give it that extra something but although very well danced by Lantratov and Shipulina and I did really like him....as the two main leads and Denis Savin and Anna Rebetskaya as Jerome and Adeline I have to confess that I couldn't really get into this ballet.

The first Act was dare I say it...almost boring as the scene acted out for the "court" went on too long for my liking even though again the two leads in this section Anna Tikhomirova and Denis Rodkin danced well.....I didnt really appreciate their roles somehow so the dancing seemed to serve no real purpose other than to showcase another couple of dancers......But I felt they were not really part of the main story and so I felt I was waiting for something to happen at any moment and then nothing did and the curtain came down for the end of the first act. I just had this vague feeling of disappointment even though all the dancing was fine. It just isn't really helped by the music which a lot of the time was a bit insipid especially in this first act.

The second Act was better with some very lively and rousing dancing by the general cast and of course the superb pas de deux for the two leads very stylishly danced by Lantratov but Shipulina certainly doesn't have the excitement of Osipova in her dancing even though she is a fine enough dancer. The music picked up a bit in this act but didn't really touch me much at all. The French Revolution!! Surely there must be a better score around somewhere!!

I'm afraid it doesn't do much better on the dramatic front either....the loss of Adeline at the end being almost farcical especially when poor old Jerome(and I did think Savin had acting talent....but lost in this ballet) is given a poor copy of her head to fondle at the end and his agony is completely pointless really and seemed at odds with the general upbeatness of the rest of the stage goings on so virtually descended into black comedy for me!! But then perhaps it is supposed to be taken this way...who knows?! In the end it's a light weight piece and a ballet I won't be in a rush to see again even though there are some good moments here and there!

I think they should save this piece for a triple bill....put the whole thing into ONE act ballet...uniting the very beginning and second act and cut out most of the first act!! Sorry but that is how I really feel!!

My two friends who are not regular ballet goers enjoyed themselves, not overwhelmed but definitely now want to see more ballet which is something and they were impressed with the two lead dancers, the general colourfulness of it all and the ROH itself!!! But perhaps Swan Lake would have been in order after all as I don't think this ballet will leave a lasting impression on them somehow but the whole ROH experience definitely did!!

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Dave, I'm so sorry.  I don't quite know what I did, but my posting seems to have been overlaid on yours, and I can't get most of it back.  The only bit I've been able to save is this bit: 

 

"I love the bitter twist at the end (though maybe not the saggy cloth head). It seems to make people subdued in their perplexity - as in, did that really happen? But love the driven march to stage front by the entire cast, except poor old Jerome of course."

Edited by alison
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Right now I want to hug this forum for making me think I should probably book for Flames in the first place. And because I am a very lucky girl, I ended up with tickets to all three performances and it was worth every penny.

 

Lantratov and Shipulina really work well together, and they were both excellent in the matinee. They might not have brought quite the same joie de vivre to the stage as Osipova/Vassiliev, but Lantratov seems well on the way to develop a quite strong stage persona and to my layman's eyes his dancing was mighty fine. Shipulina was in fine form too, her pirouettes in the wedding pdd were beautiful.

 

Denis Savin's Jerome made me nearly cry at the end.

 

Gudanov did not dance today, and I *think* Skvortsov might have done both performances today as Marquis, though I am a bit confused as to who did what. Either way, the Marquis was perfectly despicable and debauched in all performances, and I felt he deserved a 'Rothbart boo'.

 

The evening performance brought the house down, with standing ovations and endless applause (at times with synchronised clapping). Vassiliev was just 100% Vassiliev and Krysanova was a bit of a revelation as Jeanne. Her scene with the Marquis was incredibly expressive and she brought a really sweet quality to the character, backed up by faultless dancing.

 

I had the same reaction to Kretova as Mireille as I had to her in Rubies - I just loved every second she was on stage. And the Furies are now one of my favourite ballet scenes. Just brilliant.

 

Even the curtain call tonight was more entertaining than 'normal' curtain calls. One of the tiny little girls on stage decided to make one more run just when the curtain was going down and dragged the conductor along with her who looked a bit startled at his sudden run for the lime light. And Vassiliev, big adorable show-off that he is, treated the audience to one more special when he leaped out with a big backwards jump from the curtains for the 3rd or 4th red run.

 

Overall, I think Flames really is a bit of a romp, which works out for me since I quite like romps.

Edited by Coated
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LinMM, the score is apparently based on actual music of the French Revolution.   Certainly I recognised "La Carmagnole" and "Ca ira" as well as "La Marseillaise".    Others (someone who bought the programme?) might be able to name more.

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For me the afternoon was but a shadow of the FLAMES we felt the night before - but then that was only for those who had seen both.  The new audience was, as reported, entirely delighted.  Steps were executed certainly in the afternoon but minus the battery of that aforementioned 100% wattage wit and commitment.  (As Vasiliev put it in that Telegraph interview: FIRE ... and with this lad - and I'm sorry but you just HAVE to love him (whether or not you like him is another matter) because he always splays his very guts out on the line.  Nothing by halves for our Ivan.  No-sir-ee.  That kind of engagement was not I fear always present in the afternoon.  

 

While Lantratov's placement was always clear (over clear at times if such a thing is possible) his commitment was never (for me) dangerous like Ivan's.  I fear Lantratov's performance (for me) suffered because of it.  Often I thought Lantratov was 'on' rather than 'in the moment'.  This historical remnant - the ballet that is - hokum as I said - NEEDS an almost superhuman commitment if its to survive.  Without such it simply cannot breathe.  It coughs; it sputters.  

 

Strangely in the evening for but a few fleeting moments - - and again only for people who had been privileged to see both Vasiliev performances - our hero - and he so legitimately IS in this - replete with those piercing basilisks that are his eyes - signaled (at least to me) that he was a mite tired.  (Of course that would be ENTIRELY understandable and let me say that he was never LESS than ENTIRELY professional) ... Or was it just that he was missing the ease of dancing with HIS partner; with HIS Natalia.  (There was after all a moment when Kyrsanova's foot almost slipped from without his copious thigh but still he he gallantly gathered her in his arms.  You can I think count on our Ivan.  The world now knows that he's a great catch.)  

 

Myself I will always remember those two occasions during the Friday curtain runs (and they were - it is true - as plentiful tonight) when Vasiliev picked up both of Osipova's hands and tenderly kissed her knuckles.  The loving look he gave her then pierced.  One got this sense from her final heart throw to the audience that this 'event' (her ONE permitted Bolshoi performance at the ROH - where both had after all first been proclaimed stars) was critically important to her.  One instinctively perceived that Ivan was there entirely to in that support.  'I'm a good guy' he seems to wish to telegraph.  (For me it's his generosity of person that allows us as a body - his audience in communion - to discover for ourselves the freedom of our own heart's laughter or the jointure shared in the amazement of our communal sighs.)   While his gifts are spectacular, he is, himself, refreshingly human.  He celebrates such.  It's his hairline fracture of sensitivity - one mounted within that most unlikely balletic frame - which strides bottom up as a constant into any variation's place.  We step up to bat with him. He is - as he self-proclaims - a dedicated optimist.  She he says is not. His arms spread apart enveloping our hearts as one.  He still has a sliver of that four year old boy who insists on folk dancing with his older brother.  'Take me' he proclaims.  'Take me!  I dare you.'  He is her survivor.  In his arms her soul is undressed for us all to adore.  There we - and she - can understand in a shared language.  It roared even more loud on Friday.  It blasted beyond the dizzying heights and delicacy of her technique.  I suspect the latter comes easier for her while respecting that nothing's easy for either.  Certainly there was nothing involving quite so much effort - or extremity of ease - for Mr. Lantratov.  Oh, there was nothing wrong with what he did ... but it was skillfully applied rather than sourced.  Therein the difference lies.

 

Funny:  The same thing - the knuckle kissing and loving glance that is - occurred in March during the Osiliev curtain call for their shared Mikhailovsky Giselle.  On that occasion it was as if she was saying to him:  'You see.  I told you.  I was right.  I can be at home here now.'  They must have known - or at least been discussing - the Royal's offer.  'Is Ivan joining you in London,' one interviewer asked her later.  'Ask Ivan,' she quite sensibly replied.  Ivan's answer? 'I'm coming to London.'  It as immediate.  He didn't need to hesitate.  Their affection is so poignant it stings.  Tonight - and maybe it's just me - but It seemed almost a tad cruel to separate them; especially in a work which had been expressly built (like Daisy's bicycle) for two; for them both; for their combined magic.  Without that FOR ME it was, I fear, a much more hollow entity.  It is as I suggested hokum ... but then so too is the Bolshoi's Don Q ... and that FOR ME - without them - will I fear never be the same.  There can be no doubt but IN THIS they put more flesh on the Vainonen bones via Ratmansky than anyone else has.  Those bones they were built ON them.  As the Hochhausers' insisted:  This tour would not happen without them.  Grinning in her royal box regally wrapped tonight, I'm sure Mrs. Hochhauser knew they had been right to insist.  The Osiliev performance was the only ONE to sell out within an hour of its general booking opening.  They ARE - let's face it - the face of the peoples' ballet for the moment in this country .. if not beyond.  I say: 'Oh, lucky us'.         

 

Agree that Denis Savin, the original Jerome, was again outstanding in the role he had originated both in the matinee and the evening performances.  Also preferred Daria Khokhlova as Amour in the afternoon.  

 

Don't know if Kristina Kretova and Artem Ovcharenko had never actually danced their respective roles in FLAMES before this stint.  It looked to me as if they must have spent the entire day rehearsing and found so much MORE extraordinary detail as variously Antoine Mistral and his Mireille de Poitiers.  I am SO sorry you did not see this cast LinMM I think you might have felt quite differently vis a vis the divertisement; especially as pertains to Kretova.  (I agree it was anonymously disjointed in the afternoon.)  Her 'performance this evening was a revelation when compared to Friday's .... It was, I promise, tellingly stellar.  His only inflated his already established balloon.  In its total historical involvement it was thrilling.  

 

Won't go on .... but simply wanted to add that I loved the Mareillaise Dance trio's character make-up this evening - again one not in either previous performance.  Here for the first time a trick-store bearded Alexei Matrakhov joined Igor Tsvirko (replete with his Carabosse nose - fulfilling that useful dictum: 'use it now or forever hold your piece!) and musty-chinned Maxim Surov in yet another exhibit of pure joy.

 

Thank you, Bolshoi.  We so look forward you seeing you again.  

 

It's refreshing to know that we STILL can be friends in what is quite obviously an ever more uncertain world for us all.

Edited by Meunier
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There is a YouTube clip showing how the score uses the revolutionary songs mentioned by Grand Tier, and a 'Blondel air from the "Richard the Lion Heart" by Gretry'.

 

The clip also mentions that the score was composed as a 'musical and historical novel' and incorporates the revolutionary songs as well as composers popular in that epoch

 

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VdB2IEB7Fz0&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DVdB2IEB7Fz0

Edited by Coated
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Moderators!! Have just typed a fairly long reply about Flames and its completely lost!!

 

I seemed to to be momentarily having a problem with wifi signal which is now back but my message which was posting at the time has gone!! Is there anyway on this Forum of putting a message on hold or saving it as Ive noticed as soon as you go out of the forum if the message hasn't gone at that point it just disappears. Is there any record somewhere of my message of about five minutes ago and any way of restoring it.....took me ages with some degree of thought and not sure if have the energy to repeat it all as it was felt at the time!!

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Oh well here goes again but won't be as "live" so to speak as the original now lost post....the spirit of the moment so to speak!

 

Meunier I share your obvious love of Osipova and Vasiliev and now I know...as you say...the ballet was created around them this explains a lot. I didn't buy a programme yesterday (at £12 just a bit too much) but sort of got the plot without it.

I thought Lantratov was excellent yesterday and my eye was drawn to him when he was on the stage but as you say does not have that dangerous edge that Vasiliev has who.....although he may not have the cleanest technique more than makes up for it with the stunning vibrancy of his performances. All the Bolshoi ballerinas have their own particular quality and Shipulina is a fine dancer but for example there are some hops on pointe across the stage which are similar to ones in Don Q .Shipulina did them very well yesterday of course but did not have me literally on the edge of my seat (which I did have for that perf) when Osipova did this in Don Q.....another dancer who lives dangerously!!

I didnt have a problem with the dancers though so much as this ballet itself...really a sort of romp through the French Revolution!! i know the court entertainment bit in the first Act, showing the vapouries of the french court was needed as a contrast to the revolutinary zeal going on not that far away but it did go on a bit and couldnt wait to getbback to the real action! And then that infernal "roman scene" even found its way into the second act again....in ridiculous costumes this time as well(poor Denis Rodkin) This could have been an opportunity to have perhaps a dramatic and moving farewell pas de deux for Jeanne and Adeline instead of her rather abrupt almost perfunctory beheading with the then pathos of Jeanne rather lost...and Savin's talents....who is obviously a brilliant actor...the more so to get something across with all the general razzmatazz going on...rather wasted.

Though I did feel the final advance down the stage towards the audience was an effective ending but by that point had stopped taking this ballet seriously!

Regards the music yes I did recognise some well known French songs there including the Marseillaise but the OVERALL affect was not that memorable. And why the tinny recordings of the Marseillaise? The two non ballet going friends with me brought this up on their own account afterwards.....could not at least a live singer(or two) have delivered a stirring rendition of this at some point at least or the orchestra at least have played it! The recording detracted from the general musical experience. Although as I said before the second Act was better.

Well we all still enjoyed ourselves yesterday and....hey standing to see the Bolshoi for only £15 not a bad deal at all!!

It was lovely to see my friends reaction to the ROH too...they were well impressed and definitely want to repeat that experience at least!

So it's what to see next for them......have also promised to keep my eyes glued for any Osipova /Vasiliev performances....in any theatre.....as I think Ive inspired them that these are the must see couple so fingers crossed they will be dancing in UK together again this year at some point.

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